Judicious stewardship refers to increased efficiency of operations resulting from management strategies that enable strategic accomplishments without additional resources. That is to say, more can be accomplished with existing resources either through direct savings or reinvestment. Currently, Arts & Sciences is employing a variety of strategies to increase efficiencies and to argue for reinvestment plans from some of these savings (refer to Figure 5.1).
Of the new faculty lines needed in the coming decade for Arts & Sciences STEM departments in general and for the health sciences in particular we propose implementing a fundraising initiative to fund 12 of these lines through endowed professorships/chairs. Additionally, we propose to raise funds for six endowed professorships in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The action steps for fundraising for endowed professorships/chairs are discussed in Theme 5 -- I. Development Initiatives -- AOD 4 and AOD 8. These steps will lead to a significant cost savings for the University operational budget.
Rigorous guidelines are needed for faculty workloads to create greater course coverage with existing faculty, to generate more scholarly research, and to provide for consistency across departmental units. In consultation with the Provost’s Office and the Office of Institutional Research and Testing, the Dean’s Office has revised workload guidelines that are currently being tested and implemented. These workloads standardize time allocation where possible, yet allow for flexibility when necessary. In addition, annual performance standards are being assessed for faculty release time designated for research.
Endowing scholarships is crucial in order to alleviate financial constraints on our student body and to free monies from the University operational budget for other purposes by reducing the tuition discount rate. During the next five years Arts & Sciences will aspire to raise $10 million in endowed scholarship funds that will provide approximately $500,000 in savings to the University on increased interest earnings.
Currently, departmental profiles combining all components of departmental operational budgets into one document are near completion. In addition to operational budget information, these profiles will include data about endowed scholarship monies, graduate student monies, enrollment management criteria, development initiatives, endowed professorships, center activities, and discretionary funds. This document will allow for maximum use and sharing of resources between the Dean’s Office and the departments.
The Dean’s Office discretionary budgets must be utilized to capacity, but within the context of potential financial exigencies. Some budget lines in the Dean’s Office accounts are replenished each year, some are replenished unpredictably from one year to the next, and some are based on monies that, once expended, will never be replenished. Across Arts & Sciences, many projects that require funding on an annual basis are difficult to fund through more traditional operational means.
Currently Arts & Sciences has 22 partially endowed professorships. Interest earnings from the principal of these endowments are not sufficient to fund fully an existing faculty member for most of these professorships/chairs. However, four currently are endowed to at least $1 million.
Research centers are now being assessed for operational and strategic effectiveness. This assessment includes whether the current centers are needed, how efficiently they are being operated, and whether new centers are needed. Any operational savings from dismantling an existing center will be reinvested into other programs. The operational savings resulting from the endowment of any existing or new centers in the coming decade will be reinvested into other non-endowed centers or related programs.
Existing and future masters programs should, if at all possible, be endowed for covering operational expenses. The four areas with the greatest likelihood of receiving endowed monies are Theatre Arts, Film and Digital Media, Geology, and Communication Sciences and Disorders. If successful, this endowment will render savings to the University that can be reinvested into other areas.
The Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office, in coordination with Human Resources, will conduct a comprehensive assessment of clerical and technical staffing to evaluate performance efficiencies and technical expertise of existing staff and to determine what additional staff will be needed in the coming decade. This is an important issue, particularly in the sciences.
As indirect costs from successful grant awards continue to increase, additional revenues will need to be generated to offset operational expenses and to support new and existing programs. Currently, the University receives 75 percent of Facilities and Administrative (F&A) revenues, and the home department receives 25 percent. Adjustments in these allocations will be needed in the future to empower the Dean to make strategic reinvestment decisions within Arts & Sciences. If within 10 years Arts & Sciences begins generating $10 million annually in grant expenditures, approximately $1.14 million per year in discretionary funds would be yielded, for example.
The 10-Year Enrollment Management Plan for Arts & Sciences aspires to a freshman retention rate of 90 percent. Two years into implementation of the plan, retention has already increased by two percentage points to 88 percent. Each percentage point increase reduces the necessity of drawing from the University operational budget. These savings will be tracked.